Except for some scattered voices for locating the individuals missing in the ethnic clashes who are presumed to be dead, an effort on the part of the state government and law enforcement agencies including the central agencies is somehow absent in the midst of this chaotic situation. There is still a lull in violence and clashes in the last fortnight or so except that human traffic is still closed on both sides with hostility yet to die down. Many have tried to explain the lull, including that of preparations for the harvesting period of poppy fields, a survey of which is being conducted by government agencies.
Actually, nobody knows for sure whether the survey is going on or not. On the other hand, campaigning for assembly elections is going on in full swing in the neighbouring state of Mizoram, from where the chess moves of the political direction and ideological support is being orchestrated. There is also the talk of piling up arms and ammunition and other provisions for the long winter ahead in the surrounding hills according to supposedly leaked documents in the social media.
Yet, nothing seems to be moving here in the state and there is still no evidence of pre-emptive moves or preparations for the winter on the part of the government, although it is busy on a foundation laying spree of new projects and inauguration of a few completed ones. The state both central and state government are yet to come up with a strategy to pull up the state of Manipur from the pit of hatred and mistrust besides real peace and normalcy not some semblance of it.
The last rites or lawful disposal of the dead bodies of those killed in the violence still remains undecided while no effort is seen to trace the missing individuals who are presumed to be killed in the clashes, much to the anguish of family members and relatives. It is time leaders and those in the government to the pain and anguish of family and relatives as last rites remain pending and the bodies missing.
For example, what is stopping the government and the CBI to locate the dead bodies of the two young teenagers if they are able to arrest individuals allegedly involved in the kidnapping and murder and the location pried from interrogation of those arrested. The two teenagers Phijam Hemanjit Singh and Hijam Luwangbi @ Linthoingambi went missing on July 6. When the photo of the duo and a picture purportedly showing their bodies surfaced on social media on September 25, it sparked widespread public outrage, condemnation and days of protests, demanding justice for the two students.
A high level CBI team led by its special Director landed in Manipur on September 27 and in a swift follow-up CBI arrested four individuals, including a woman, in connection with the incident and airlifted them to Guwahati on October 1. The CBI also arrested an alleged mastermind behind the case on October 13.
Manipur Chief Minister while lauding the CBI team for the swift action, has also assured further investigation to arrest other alleged culprits. There is also a news-report that CBI investigation has been able to pinpoint the location on Old Cachar Road at Joujangtek where the bodies are supposedly buried.
But, no effort to dig up the bodies had been made so far. It is the same with the case of other missing individuals. It is time for the government to come up with a status paper on the investigations and whereabouts of the missing and dead.